Tour de Wife

Just imagine what she could do with a real coach.

We are eight months into the Wanky Training Program, a carefully detailed, well thought out physical and mental preparation regimen based on the following principles:

  1. I don’t know.
  2. I made it up.
  3. Ask someone else.

Along with these principles I appended a few sub-rules to help Yasuko be the best she can be. They are:

  1. Don’t overdo it.
  2. Rest.
  3. Have fun later.

After our second Euro ride here in Vienna, I can report that she is killing it, not me.

Bike control

As I reported earlier, the key to good cycling has little to do with fitness and everything to do with not getting killed or catastrophically injured. Summed up in this post, CC&E has been the key to Yasuko’s success. It hasn’t always been fun, as I’m not much fun, but the results? Out-fucking-standing.

She rides in a straight line, bar-to-bar, at about the right cadence, and never half-wheels. What more could you ever ask out of anyone, much less your wife/SO? That’s printable, I mean.

I am amazed that in eight months she rides better than people who have been doing it decades, lifetimes, generations. In addition to the wonder of her bike control, it has reduced my fear/terror quotient to almost zero.

Fitness

We all know that the biggest enemy of new cyclists is fitness, not that they don’t get fit, but that they get fit too quickly and never get any better. How many people do you know who made radical improvement their first year and then stayed stuck there, like a worm on a hook?

The biggest cause of this is riding too much, because few (I said “few”) things are as pleasurable as seeing quick gains in strength, speed, and endurance. But we all know about rapid gains among newly addicted riders: They are followed by massive acquisition of carbon, Strava, and a power meter, then followed by burn out and injury and golf, not necessarily in that order.

Yasuko meticulously followed my specifically vague and minimalist regime for eight months. Here’s what a typical week training plan looks like. Note that this training plan meets the single most important for any plan, that is, it doesn’t take more than 60 seconds to write it out in its entirety.

Monday: No Ride

Tuesday: No Ride

Wednesday: Ride 40 minutes

Thursday: Ride 80 minutes

Friday: Coffee Ride to Dogtown and back

Saturday: Ride of some sort.

Sunday: No Ride

You can see that there is a lot of emphasis on not riding; what you can’t see is the emphasis on eating a lot, sleeping a lot, and the fact that the 40-minute loop includes Whitley-Collins twice, the 80-minute loop includes Abbottswood thrice, and Friday is a big spin day of 3.5 hours.

The result? Yesterday we cracked out a 4-hour ride and she felt great. Today we did another 4-hour effort and she felt great. Pro contract in the works? Not yet. On track to continued, gradual increases in endurance and speed without overuse injuries or burnout? YEP.

Cessation of spousal hostilities

As anyone who’s been married for more than fifteen minutes knows, marriage involves lots of battling. Most guys lose all the major ones by the end of Month 1, and after thirty years you are lucky if you can even win a moderate skirmish over the scent of the bath soap, lucky as in “won the Powerball” lucky.

And although cycling would seem to offer lots of opportunities for continued battling (“Slow down!” “Where are we going?” “Are we there yet?” “I’m tired!” “Let’s go home now,” “I’m hungry,” “My bike is making a funny noise!” “I forgot food, can I have yours?”), in our case it has resulted in the opposite, that is, two very tired old people who are grateful to have made it home in one piece while having had a wonderful time together.

END

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15 thoughts on “Tour de Wife”

  1. “… she is killing it, not me” means:

    a. She is killing it and you are not.
    2. She is killing it and not killing you.
    c. Both of the above.

    Giving the cessation of spousal hostilities, I am guessing it’s 2. or c.

      1. It is always refreshing to write something that is partially less untrue than usual.

  2. Coffee, bread with butter, six hours a week with no intervals. Where can I sign up for this training program?

  3. “made radical improvement their first year and then stayed stuck there, like a worm on a hook?” Or worse died or had a major injury going faster then their skills could handle. That’s what scares/bothers me the most.

    And did I tell you? I can be found at the driving range most Saturday afternoons and on the tandem with my hubbie on Saturday or Sunday morning. 🙂 Marital Bliss.

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